Tag Archive | "Wikipedia"

Video: Royals Harlem Shake

Some of the Kansas City Royals players, including Salvador Perez and Bruce Chen, have posted a “Harlem Shake” video.

From Wikipedia: The videos last between 30 and 32 seconds and feature an excerpt from the song “Harlem Shake” by electronic musician Baauer. Usually, a video begins with one person (often helmeted or masked) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people not paying attention or unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the video cuts to the entire crowd doing a crazy convulsive dance for the next 15 seconds. Moreover, in the second half of the video, people often wear a minimum of clothes or crazy outfits or costumes while wielding strange props.

It was only a matter of time.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Know When To Hold ‘Em, Royals Need An Ace In The Hole

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Royals are at a guys’ night, enjoying some cold beverages, and playing the classic game, Texas Hold ‘Em. Using this same metaphor, here’s how I see a few key members of the current pitching staff as the two-card starting hands. Should the Royals hold ‘em or fold ‘em? Find out below.

For those of you not familiar with the rules of Texas Hold ‘Em, check out this Wikipedia article and come back to read the rest of this article.

Shuffle up and deal:

Luke Hochevar 7, 8 off suit

Hochevar was probably a King, Jack off suit directly after the 2006 draft, but the former first overall pick has yet to reach first round prowess. The de-facto ace of the pitching staff in 2011, Hochevar still has some potential to be a great hand. If the Royals can get a few cards falling its way, they could have a straight – a great betting hand in Texas Hold ‘Em. There are still many variables with Hochevar, he’ll have to stay healthy throughout the year and pitch at a consistently high level to be considered a true ace. His flashes of brilliance in 2009 and last year when he threw 7 and 2/3 scoreless innings against the Rangers are reasons to hold on to this hand. Result: Hold ‘Em… For now.

Kyle Davies 10, 2 off suit

A slice of history first – Doyle Brunson, arguably the best poker player ever, won two Texas Hold ‘Em World Series of Poker events in back-to-back years with this 10, 2 off suit hand. Brunson undoubtedly needed luck to complete the full houses that ensued when playing this hand to win the championship. The Royals need that same kind of luck with Kyle Davies. Last year, he finished with a 5.34 ERA and an 8-12 record. He will start the season as the Royals’ number two starting pitcher, but similar to Hochevar, the Royals will need a stroke of luck to win this hand. It’s a far-fetched proposition to expect brilliance on this shaky starting position. Result: Fold ‘Em.

Vin Mazzaro Queen, 10 suited

To preface, this could be a wishful starting hand for the 24-year-old righty from New Jersey. Mazzaro and minor leaguer, Justin Marks, were acquired for David DeJesus in November and Royals fans will learn quickly if they received an immediate return for the trade. This starting hand has great potential, but could also come back to bite the Royals if he falls flat on his face. Similar to flopping a pair, Mazzaro will need to perform at a high level early in the season to win over the fans. A Queen, 10 suited is a decent starting hand with a lot of potential and the Royals should play this hand. Result: Hold ‘Em.

Sean O’Sullivan pocket 3’s

This hand isn’t very sexy in the game of Texas Hold ‘Em, but it has the potential to take down big hands given the right conditions. O’Sullivan’s stats, on the surface, aren’t that sexy either. That being said, he is very young and will be very cheap for a long time and possesses mountains of potential. He’s got a chance to take down some of the bigger hands around the league given the right opportunities. The jury is still out on O’Sullivan, but he could mature to pocket 7’s if he continues to improve his command and presence on the mound. It should also be mentioned, O’Sullivan was good enough to pitch in the majors at age 21. He could be a good hand for the Royals for years to come. Result: Hold ‘Em.

Gil Meche 7, 2 off suit

From 2006 through 2008, Meche’s hand would’ve included an Ace because he had all the makings of an Ace pitcher. However, two years, several injuries, and $22.8 million dollars earned in those two seasons, his playing hand has reached the basement. A 7, 2 off suit is considered to be the worst hand in Texas Hold ‘Em, and Meche’s current role with the team as over-paid relief pitcher merits this starting position. The Royals will have to bluff their way out of this hand for any hope. Result: Fold ‘Em

Joakim Soria Pocket Kings

This hand is also known as “cowboys,” and is one of the strongest starting hands you can have in poker. Soria has many things going for him: he’s young (26), extremely talented (career 2.01 ERA), and will remain cheap and in club control until 2014. Aptly nicknamed, “The Mexicutioner,” Soria has already notched 132 career saves. The former Rule 5 pick out of the Padres’ organization, Soria has been and will continue to be a gem for the Royals. Result: Hold ‘Em as long as you can.

Disclaimer

There are many variables involved with Texas Hold ‘Em, like a lot of luck, reading body language, playing your opponent and not the cards, and so on. This isn’t designed to be a perfect metaphor, but a cheeky look at some of the integral pieces of the Royals’ pitching staff in 2011. Would you give some members of the pitching staff different starting hands, or agree with my assessments? Feel free to comment below.

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Royals Hunt For Another Gem In Rule 5 Draft

In fine print in a remote corner of the sports section: “The Royals select pitcher Nathan Adcock in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.”

Who? Ho hum. Flip to the NFL section of the sports page. Nothing to see here.

One of the overlooked “perks” of being one of the worst teams in baseball is annually having a high selection in the winter Rule 5 Draft – a culling of seasoned minor leaguers.

But to the casual fan of most teams, the Rule 5 Draft goes unnoticed. Their teams are busy filling holes in their major league roster through free agency, trades or promotion of minor league talents. The drafting of minor league castoffs isn’t cause for excitement.

To the rabid Royals fan, however, hungering for any morsel of hope, the Rule 5 Draft is one more chance to inject life into the languishing franchise.

And the addition of one of the finest closers in the game is certainly worth getting excited about. That’s right, the Royals imported Joakim Soria for just $50,000 in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft.

The Rule 5 Draft is a bit complicated. In general, players over 23 years of age with four or more professional seasons under their belts must be protected on their teams’ 40-man major league roster. If they are not protected, they are eligible to be drafted by another team, with the only caveat being they must stay with their new major league club for the entire season. The cost of the selection is $50,000. If at some point the new team doesn’t want to keep the player on the roster, he must be offered back to the original club for $25,000.

(For a more complete look at the policies governing the Rule 5 Draft, go here.)

The Royals struck gold in the 2006 draft by plucking Soria from the San Diego Padres minor league system. Soria stayed with the big league Royals the entire 2007 season, emerging as their closer and finishing the year with 17 saves and a 2.48 ERA.

There’s hardly a player in the league for which the Royals would trade Soria, but shockingly the player taken right after Soria in the 2006 draft… none other than reigning MVP Josh Hamilton.

In 2005, the Royals and six other clubs passed on slugging second baseman Dan Uggla in the winter draft. Imagine for a moment the Royals with Hamilton and Uggla in their lineup and you realize how significant the Rule 5 Draft can be.

There have been a few other big name players taken in the winter draft over the years, the most significant being Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente (1954), Darrell Evans (1968), George Bell (1980), Bobby Bonilla (1985), and Johan Santana (1999).

Will the name of Adcock, a 22-year-old righty who has yet to pitch above high A ball, someday be mentioned with Uggla, Hamilton, Soria, and even Clemente? Probably not. The jump from the minors, in most cases, is too much to ask. But Rule 5 picks can be demoted to minor league rosters after they are offered back to their original clubs.

In 2009, the Royals took Edgar Osuna from the Atlanta Braves. Deemed not ready for the bigs, the Royals offered Osuna back to Atlanta, but the Braves declined to reclaim him. Osuna went 6-2 in 17 starts for Northwest Arkansas last season and figures in the Omaha rotation for 2011.

Some players of note from past Rule 5 Drafts include:

Andrew Sisco, taken in 2004 from the Cubs, pitched well out of the bullpen in 2005 (3.11 ERA and 9.1 SO/9), then netted Ross Gload in a 2006 trade.

D.J. Carrasco, selected from Pittsburg in 2002, had three productive seasons out of the pen before the Royals released him in 2005. Carrasco has pitched well enough to earn a spot on several teams since and has a career record of 23-18 and an ERA of 4.31 in 244 games.

Endy Chavez, drafted from the Mets in 2000, played sparingly in 2001 and was allowed to return to the Mets. Chavez made a decent career as a journeyman outfielder, hitting .270 through the 2009 season.

Brandon Weeden, a pitcher taken in 2005 from the Dodgers in a minor-league phase of the draft, spent one campaign with the Royals’ High Desert affiliate. In that season, Weeden suffered through a 6-5 record, a high ERA, and arm troubles. Name sound familiar? He’s the 27-year-old junior quarterback of the OSU Cowboys who must have overcome his arm problems – he passed for 4,037 yards this season, leading the Cowboys to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Alamo Bowl.

A star quarterback doesn’t do the Royals much good. And for the most part, neither have these other selections over the past decade. Teams must weigh the cost of selecting a player in the draft – since the player drafted must remain on the roster for the entire season, it blocks one spot from being filled by any other player, costs money that could be used in some other way, and could force a player in over his head.
One bit of good news is that, in surveying the drafts of the past 12 years, the Royals haven’t let any significant players slip away as a result of the draft. Unfortunately, one reason for this could be the Royals system has been so devoid of talent that there weren’t good players being left unprotected. Glass half full, or half empty?

Best of luck, Nathan Adcock. You’ve been given the opportunity every minor leaguer dreams of – a chance to prove you belong on a big-league roster. Go take your place among the Sorias, Hamiltons and Ugglas of history.

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